Monday Jan 19 2009
Placer County Probation targets DUI offenders
By: Staff Report
Department seeks more accountability, safer streets
Greater driving under the influence offender accountability and safer streets are the goals of a new, grant-funded program awarded to the Placer County Probation Department. Increased supervision of felony and misdemeanor DUI offenders sentenced to probation is on tap as a result of a recent grant in excess of $186,285 awarded to the department by the State Office of Traffic Safety. The intent of the new program is to reduce the number of offenders who continue to drive under the influence. The Placer County Probation Department holds offenders accountable by enforcing court orders and through supervision in the community. “We continue to be concerned by the high number of DUI cases in Placer County, especially repeat offenders,” said Chief Probation Officer Stephen Pecor. “It appears that many of these individuals had not gotten the message in the past about drinking and driving. Through efforts like this, that has changed. We had 82 fewer DUI arrests in Placer County this year compared to last year. This funding will allow the department to focus more resources on the problem,” he said. The California Probation Felony and Repeat DUI Offender Program grant will allow the probation department to more effectively supervise felony/misdemeanor DUI offenders on formal probation and DUI offenders who have outstanding bench warrants. Intensified supervision will include random urinalysis tests, breath tests and unannounced visits to the home of the offender, along with special enforcement operations in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies. “We’re happy that the Placer County Probation Department continues to target the worst-of-the-worst,” said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “These repeat offenders need the supervision this grant facilitates, keeping themselves and everyone else safer on our roadways,” Murphy said. Funding for the grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.